Morgan Heavrin, a Park City native, is Central Pacific figure skating champion
November 2, 2017
Every weekday, Morgan Heavrin, 10, gets up at 5 a.m. to the sound of the alarm clock she set the night before.
Sometimes, her parents are still sleeping, so she wakes them up.
It's time for her to go to figure skating.
Morgan and her mom, Karie Heavrin, drive to the Park City Ice Arena, where Morgan works on her technique, practicing the intricate leaps, spins and turns that constitute the routine that helped her win the Central Pacific Figure Skating regionals in Salt Lake City last week.
Six years ago, Karie would not have imagined her daughter showing up for the roughly 12 hours of practice each week, most of it spent learning one-on-one with elite-level figure skaters.
For one, her daughter's seemingly effortless poise on the ice evaporated outside of the rink.
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"Coaches would tell us how graceful she was and we would say 'I don't know how she stays on two feet, she's the clumsiest kid,'" Karie said. "You don't see her at home when she stumbles all over the place, but I'm extremely surprised and extremely proud how she's done."
Truthfully, the Heavrins never expected Morgan to start skating competitively. When they first dropped her off for beginning skating lessons six years ago, it was because skating was a practical option for the family.
"It was the closest activity to where we lived," Karie said. "The rink was seven minutes from our house."
Since then, Morgan has flourished.
Erika Roberts, one of her coaches, describes Morgan as "friendly with everyone," and "very social." She said Morgan has "a lot of natural ability."
"Her love for skating shines through when she is on the ice," Roberts said in an email response to The Park Record.
Morgan's recent success means she will travel to sectionals in Spokane, Washington, on Nov. 15, where she will compete against the top 36 girls in her age group for a chance at nationals. While there, she will don her outfit — what it looks like doesn't matter to Morgan ("Your dress … doesn't perform for you, you perform for everybody else," she said) — and skate through her two-minute and 25-second routine of double jumps, complex spins and step sequences, all set to a track from Star Wars.
That is the stressful part.
Morgan said at regionals she could feel the eyes of the crowd and her team watching her. She said she could sense their hope that she would succeed, and felt the pressure that followed.
For her mother, competitions are "nail biting."
"It's so stressful to watch a child be out there all alone," Karie said. "Since it's not a team sport, you succeed on your own and fail on your own. Not knowing how it's going to go for your child puts your stomach in knots."
Morgan said success at sectionals would mean achieving her short-term goal of going to nationals, but ultimately she wants to be on the U.S. National team.
"My goal right now is to get to the Olympics," she said.
So for now, her parents will have to prepare for many more years of anxiously watching their child as she pushes into territory they had no notion of seeing.
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